Guilford teen faces larceny charges

By Rachael Scarborough King, Register Staff
July 22, 2008

NORTH BRANFORD — A Guilford teenager apparently tried to rob a North Branford convenience store and break into a pickup truck with an ax early Saturday, according to police.

The 18-year-old allegedly stole three packs of cigarettes worth about $15, but now faces a long list of charges, police said.

Police Saturday arrested Tyler Gruen and charged him with several counts of larceny and attempted larceny related to the alleged crimes.

North Branford police responded to a call Saturday morning that a man wearing a dark hooded sweatshirt and ski mask had entered the Cumberland Farms on Foxon Road and attempted to break into the cash registers.

The store’s manager said the person took three packs of Kool cigarettes and tried to open the registers, but was unable to do so.

The man then left the store, but not before removing his mask, which allowed the store’s closed-circuit TV cameras to capture an image of his face, according to police.

The officers responding to the report began patrolling the neighborhood, and were stopped by a man who said someone had tried to break into his grandfather’s pickup truck, which was parked at their home on West Pond Road.

The man said he saw someone swinging a pickax — which had previously been stored in the truck’s bed — at the Chevrolet Silverado’s passenger door. He yelled and the person dropped the ax and ran.

The West Pond Road resident’s description of the man matched the one provided by the Cumberland Farms manager.

An officer stationed West Pond Road and Glenwood Road stopped a man on a bicycle who matched the description about an hour later on Saturday.

Police said the man, Gruen, had with him a backpack with three packs of Kool cigarettes, a dark sweatshirt and a ski mask.

The officers arrested Gruen, charging him with sixth-degree larceny, third-degree attempted burglary, sixth-degree attempted larceny, possession of burglary tools, second-degree criminal trespass and third-degree criminal mischief.

He was released on $10,000 bond and is next due in court Aug. 1.

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